Miami (Sun Sentinel) — The new uniforms are here. The new court is coming. The Miami Heat again are going Vice, starting Friday.
"Vice Nights" is the sequel to last season's popular Vice campaign. The Vice Nights uniform is black with the classic Heat silhouette from 1988 colored in laser fuchsia and blue gale, and features the original Miami Arena script across the chest and a re-imagined Heat ball and flame logo sporting the Vice Nights color combination. The uniform was designed in-house by Heat Graphic Designer Brett Maurer.
"I think it's better than the white ones," guard Dwyane Wade said Monday, before the Heat played the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. "The white was cool. But I think the black is what everybody has been waiting for."
The twist this season is that there will be a matching court as part of the theme.
"That's the coolest thing," Wade said. "It's not just the jersey, but to be able to go all in, all the way around. That makes it even more of a special night, when we get the opportunity to get on the court.
"I think it's going to bring some excitement to even the players. So it will be cool to the fans, definitely, to come in and feel a different environment, a different vibe. So, look forward to it."
Heat chief marketing officer Michael McCullough told the Sun Sentinel it was an element the team wished it had debuted with last season's initial jersey release.
"I would say that was just a miss on our part," he said. "When we were conceptualizing the uniform, we thought about doing the court, but it was too late. By the time we started the process, it was not going to give us enough time."
McCullough told the Sun Sentinel that the black Vice jerseys were planned as part of a two-year release of the theme.
"This was part of our plan from Day 1, when we heard of the City design concept," he said. "It just kind of coalesced that way. We thought that [the white version] was the one to launch the campaign and allow us to have a complete switch for the second year."
The team has launched a special website, Heat.com/ViceNights, which showcases digital elements of the campaign.
McCullough said the team's marketing department worked with the basketball-operations department on the design and release.
"We worked very closely with basketball operations on this," he said. "They've been very involved in the planning of this entire process. There is no such thing as free rein, and we understand that. The basketball side was very engaged."
The Heat will begin wearing the new uniforms with Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena.
McCullough said players requested early editions to design matching footwear.
"It's basically the same roster as last year, so they're very familiar," he said. "The first question was, 'When do I get to wear this?' "
The Heat also will reveal a second limited-edition uniform for their Dec. 28 home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, currently listed only as "coming soon." Games with that "coming soon" designation continue into January.
It was last January when the Heat formally unveiled their initial "Vice" uniforms, a white jersey with pink and blue neon pastels accents marketed as reflecting "neon pink sunrises and electric blue nights."
Heat fans embraced the look last season to the degree that "Vice" jerseys went on extended back order once Wade arrived and No. 3 editions were sought.
"I love it. I absolutely love it," coach Erik Spoelstra said last season of going with the neon pastel hues. "It was one of my favorite TV shows growing up. I had a totally different view on Miami before I moved here and that was my perception of it.
"I think it's awesome. If I had any guts, I would show up in a Miami Vice suit. I don't. I don't think I can grow a mustache in time. But I think it's brilliant. It captures so much of the '80s culture of Miami, and the players can have fun with it."
The Heat won a Clio Grand award for last season's "Vice" uniform. The Clio Awards recognize "innovation and creative excellence in advertising, design and communications."
The Heat are scheduled for 14 "Vice" home games. The Heat will host a "Midnight Madness" event at American Airlines Arena early Friday morning.
The Heat will wear the Vice Nights uniform for the following games:
Nov. 9: vs. Indiana
Nov. 10: vs. Washington
Nov. 12: vs. Philadelphia
Nov. 18: vs. LA Lakers
Nov. 20: vs. Brooklyn
Nov. 27: vs. Atlanta
Nov. 30: vs. New Orleans
Dec. 2: vs. Utah
Dec. 4: vs. Orlando
Dec. 20: vs. Houston
Dec. 22: vs. Milwaukee
Feb. 23: vs. Detroit
Feb. 25: vs. Phoenix
Feb. 27: vs. Golden State
April 7: at Toronto